Queen Mathilde of Belgium found a way to keep morale up as the country put in measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. The 47-year-old, along with her two youngest children, Prince Emmanuel, 14, and Princess Eléonore, 11, delivered flowers and homemade cakes to a nursing home near the Royal Palace of Brussels over the weekend.
Elderly residents at Huis Heizel are currently unable to receive visitors due to the risk posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, so the Belgian royals wanted to cheer them up with the sweet gesture. While the trio were unable to meet with any of the residents or nursing staff, they waved through the windows after dropping off several baskets of flowers and cakes.
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Belgium has responded to the crisis by closing schools, cancelling sporting events and mass gatherings, and encouraging employers to work from home where possible. King Philippe and Queen Mathilde's youngest three children, Prince Gabriel, 16, Prince Emmanuel and Princess Eléonore are believed to be home from school and college. The royal couple's eldest child, Princess Elisabeth, 18, is currently studying at UWC Atlantic College in Wales. The king and queen were also due to carry out a state visit to Italy this month, but that has been postponed until a later date.
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The Belgian royal family at Christmas
Royal families across Europe have been responding to the coronavirus pandemic, with the Danish, Norwegian and Swedish households cancelling forthcoming public engagements. The Queen has also postponed her visits to Camden and Cheshire, but is still carrying out private audiences, while the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall's tour of the Republic of Cyprus and Jordan this week has also been called off.
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